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- Unreported Judgment
NRT QCAT 107
NRT  QCAT 107
Guardianship and administration matters for adults
9 December 2015
20 April 2016
Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld), s 20, s 104, s 109
APPEARANCES and REPRESENTATION
Mr B Le, in house solicitor appeared for the Public Trustee of Queensland
REASONS FOR DECISION
- NRT suffered a personal injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 2007. This included both physical and subsequent psychological injuries, which resulted in loss of capacity. The Public Trustee of Queensland was appointed as her administrator on 7 February 2014.
- An award of damages in respect of personal injury was sanctioned by his Honour Justice North of the Supreme Court of Queensland on 24 February 2015.
- The Public Trustee was required to submit a financial management plan to the Tribunal in accordance with order 6 of the order of Justice North. The Tribunal is in the course of considering the plan which was originally filed on 24 April for approval under s 20 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 (Qld) (‘GA Act’).
- Subsequent to this, the Public Trustee filed an application for directions in regard to a possible gift to be made to NRT’s mother for past Griffith v Kirkemeyer care. The opinion of Counsel in respect of the settlement of the personal injuries claim was filed as part of the material in support of that application. That opinion had been directed by Justice North to be sealed and not to be opened without an order of the court.
- The Public Trustee has made an application for a confidentiality order in respect of the whole of the material filed in support of the application for directions and in particular in regard to counsel’s opinion has asserted that it is subject to the order of the court and legal professional privilege. The rest of the material contained in the affidavit of Robert Allen James Moran goes into the history of the claim and the course of the personal injuries application.
- The Public Trustee was concerned that having regard to the medical reports NRT may be easily influenced and at risk of financial abuse and that it was important that the disclosure of financial material as well as the legal advice be limited to protect NRT’s interests.
- The Tribunal may make a confidentiality order to avoid serious harm or injustice to a person in accordance with s 109 of the GA Act having regard to the requirement that each active party should be entitled to have access to a document or information that is credible, relevant and significant and the desirability that tribunal hearings be held in public in accordance with s 104 of the GA Act.
- The material put before the Tribunal goes to the question of whether or into it is in NRT’s interests to make the payment to her mother for past care including whether there is a proper basis for the amount claimed and whether it is affordable in terms of not putting undue stress on NRT’s finances. The parties affected by the matter should therefore have access to the information necessary to make proper submissions in that regard. NRT’s mother has put material in terms of the amount that she put before the Court in regard to the claim for past care. The award was a lump sum so there was no particular component for past care, hence the need for consideration before the Tribunal.
- One of the documents which the Tribunal will consider is Counsel’s advice on quantum. This is the document ordered to be sealed by Justice North and subject to legal professional privilege. I consider that there is sufficient other information to enable the other parties to make any necessary submissions and that the opinion of counsel should have its privilege preserved. It would be an injustice to NRT for the Tribunal not to abide her legal professional privilege.
- I order that pursuant to s 109 of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 the following document is confidential and it must not be disclosed:
- The opinion on quantum of Susan Anderson of counsel dated 23 February 2015, which is exhibit RM-1 to the affidavit of Robert Allen James Moran of 1 December 2015.
- Published Case Name:
- Shortened Case Name:
 QCAT 107
20 Apr 2016